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Laurel Mayor responds to closing of Regional Hospital | News

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Laurel Mayor responds to closing of Regional Hospital

LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- A major hospital in the Laurel-Beltsville region will close its doors by 2018. The plan is to replace Laurel Regional Hospital with a $24 million dollar outpatient facility.

It was made public Friday that the full service Laurel Regional Hospital will close, according to the Mayor, Craig A. Moe, and City Council of Laurel Department of Communications. The decision happened in closed door sessions and neither the community or local elected officials were involved in the final decision. It was based on a consultant's report that had no evaluation of the potential to sell the hospital and the campus, according to officials.

In a release from the City of Laurel, the mayor stated that he was "deeply concerned about the tremendous impact on the safety and well-being of the residents." He also went on to say that he is "troubled by the loss of many jobs" for the residents in the area. In the mayor's opinion the closure is a result of poor leadership and management on the part of Dimensions Healthcare System.

The facility is expected to re-open as a limited service facility. The mayor also stated in the release that he supports the Prince George's Regional Medical Center plans, however not at the expense of closing the full service Laurel Regional Hospital.

The group that owns the hospital, Dimension Healthcare Systems, says their board of directors voted to downsize and eventually close the hospital. They say the decision was made because this hospital is underused and for years it's consistently lost money.

Admissions at the hospital have gone down by almost 20 percent since 2013.

Dimensions Healthcare System will try to minimize job losses by giving as many employees comparable positions at the Prince George's Hospital Center and other DHS facilities.

Dimensions Healthcare System gave the following statement to WUSA9's Ellison Barber in response to the mayor's criticism:

Dimensions Healthcare System appreciates the mayor's concerns regarding the decision to place a new ambulatory care facility on the campus of Laurel Regional Hospital. Given that the decision was just made yesterday, planning and execution of the details have not yet gotten underway. However, Dimensions Healthcare System looks forward to future dialogue with the mayor of Laurel and City of Laurel councilmembers.

Dimensions says that that 80 beds include chronic care beds, rehabilitation beds, behavioral health beds, and 30 medical surgery beds.

In 2018, when that new facility is expected to be complete, all of those beds will be gone and the focus will be on ambulatory services.

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